Behind the Scenes: Kelly Brassey

There are few people in life who have not been touched by cancer in some way, and the stock car community is no exception. One person who has chosen to take a stand against cancer is long-time stock car supporter Kelly Brassey, the driving force behind the cascade of pink that is the #letsfencecancer movement. The 2019 Stock Car Wives and Girlfriends calendar launched at the World Final is Kelly’s current project, but she has more up her sleeve for the next few months.

What is your link to stock cars?

I met my husband, Mick, 17 years ago and he was a massive racing fan of all formulas. He had raced prior to me meeting him and had to stop due to life commitments, I encouraged him to follow his dream and get behind the steering wheel again, which he did! He raced for around six years, then we decided to spectate and followed Formula 1 season after season. My husband then started mechanicing for Team Davidson, he loving being involved again and getting his hands dirty. He was a mechanic for Rob Speak for his return to F1; once Rob hung his overalls, he helped Luke Davidson and Tom Harris. Helping out Luke and Tom has taken him over the water to America to mechanic for Tom with his racing projects over there. Mick always seems to be busy and I often don’t see him until the end of a meeting, so I began to make friends and chat to the other ladies.

Why cancer research?

I first had the inspiration to raise money for Cancer Research UK after attending Rich Masterson’s (103) 30th birthday party some years ago. Rich speaks with such positivity and courage about his ongoing treatment for cancer and I just thought I can do something – I was willing to give it a try! A few months later Rich, Darren Clark and myself took part in a Wolf Run, a 10K assault course through mud, water and obstacles. I set up a Just Giving page and on I went with more runs. I started to get the stock car community involved with T-shirts and auctioned car panels.

Why the calendar?

At the beginning of the year, I watched the celebrity Real Full Monty on TV for testicular and breast cancer and a bulb just lit up in my head. I thought we, the stock car community, can do this! I bounced the idea of selling a stock car wives and girlfriends calendar with Maisie Finnikin and a couple of other ladies I have fundraised with in the past and they got behind it 110%. I got the ball rolling on Facebook. I invited as many women as possible, those I knew and those I thought would know me. It’s not every day you ask a woman you don’t really know if she would like to get her breasts out for a charity calendar! But the response was amazing and before I knew it we had 29 ladies taking part!

On the day of the shoot, all 29 ladies arrived. We had a 5am start for hair and make-up and all helped each other, there was a great strength on the day and a massive sense of unity. We started shooting at 11am and wrapped up by 6.30pm, a very successful day with all the photos just how we had planned them. The togetherness continued that the evening when all the ladies (and of course Paul) went for a lovely tapas meal and drinks in Hartlepool marina.

The strength of the #letsfencecancer campaign has grown and grown there is now an admin group of eight ladies: Katie Smith, Annette Lund, Lisette Falding, Suzzanne Fairhurst, Maisie Masterson, Izzy Hertzog, Sophie Clark and myself. We all have our own strengths and together we are strong.

What was the reaction of Paul Tully when you asked him to take the photos?

I think it was his dream job! He could not have been more helpful. He completely understood the cause, respected the way we planned it and the ideas we had. I was so delighted that he is involved. Paul’s partner Liz came along too – she was so supportive and made all the ladies feel comfortable as chief dressing gown holder!

Who was most willing to strip off?

I don’t think the lovely Lisette Falding will mind me saying that she was full of confidence during the August shot (our Dutch month), but generally once we had done January all the ladies were at much more ease. Getting our boobies out wasn’t an issue after all! We all knew the cause behind each shot and what an impact this would have on changing a life. We were all in the same boat and after all our body is our shell it doesn’t define us as human beings.  By the December photo we were just wandering around nearly naked!

How can fans support the fundraising?

Please buy a calendar and support all the charities it represents. It also brings together teams, friends, families and supporters together from across our beautiful sport. We also have T-shirts for sale in sizes small to XL. Both T-shirts and calendars cost £15.00 and can be posted for an additional £3.95. We are hoping to raise over £20,000 to divide between the chosen charities supporting breast, cervical, ovarian, prostate and testicular cancer research.

How can the calendar be purchased?

You can message us via our Facebook page ‘Brisca Stands up to Cancer’, or by email to letsfencecancer@gmail.com, or at any F1 meetings. We will have a big presence at Birmingham on Gala Night – our pink tent will be up and lots of the ladies will be present.

What’s next?

I hope for the Brisca Stands up to Cancer project to be a long-lasting forum to raise money and awareness for all types of cancer. In March 2019 we will host a Full Monty evening starring the men of the ovals with confirmed participants from F1 drivers to their mechanics, this will support testicular and prostate cancer. We will be selling tickets over the winter for the three-course meal, DJ , comedian, auction, Q&A and the Full Monty show itself. We use the hashtag #letsfencecancer on all our posts and hope to keep it going for a long time!

 

Interview with Kelly: Scott Reeves

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